Five days after Alaska Governor Sarah Palin was picked as the Republican vice presidential nominee, NBC's David Gregory falsely disputed the idea that the media had crossed a line by suggesting Palin's family life conflicted with her candidacy. Referring to an earlier interview, Gregory argued on Today: "Rudy Giuliani said questions have been asked about whether she can balance this with her kids. That question has not been brought up by the media."
Gregory was wrong — that precise question was posed repeatedly on ABC, CBS and NBC as the networks invaded every nook and cranny of Palin's family life. From August 29 through September 4, the Big Three network morning and evening shows ran a total of 59 stories mentioning Palin's family, or about eight per day. Nearly two-thirds of those (37) brought up the pregnancy of Palin's teenaged daughter; another ten questioned whether she could balance her family obligations with a campaign — the exact suggestion Gregory claimed was never "brought up by the media."
Less than an hour after reporter David Gregory incorrectly huffed on Wednesday's "Today" show that the media have not questioned whether Sarah Palin can balance motherhood with serving as vice president, NBC correspondent Amy Robach explicitly did just that during a segment on how moms were reacting to the Alaska governor. Operating under a loaded either/or premise, she derided, "The broader question if Sarah Palin becomes vice president, will she be shortchanging her kids or will she be shortchanging the country?"
Labeling the segment "the mommy wars," Robach, a former beauty pageant contestant, went on point out that Palin is running despite having an infant child with Down's Syndrome and a pregnant 17-year-old daughter. She asserted that "the news has sparked both pride and condemnation." Robach also featured New York Times writer Jodi Kantor, who authored a piece on the subject in the September 2 edition of the paper. In a clip, Kantor discussed the fact that Palin went back to work only a few days after giving birth this past April. According to the journalist, "fellow mothers" found this "a little bit hard to fathom, a little bit hard to identify with."
But seven days earlier, as those same programs reacted to the Obama campaign’s text message heralding Joe Biden as the Democratic vice presidential candidate, none of those broadcast found a moment to call him “liberal,” in spite of Biden’s lengthy record of liberal votes as determined by the nonpartisan National Journal.
Here’s a quick rundown of how the three broadcast networks emphasized Palin’s ideology on their August 30 programs:
With Starbucks’ announcement that it will closing 600 of its locations nationwide, the network morning shows on Wednesday heralded this news as another sign of a bad economy. ABC’s Bianna Golodryga on "Good Morning America" lamented that "Americans are struggling just to pay for a cup of Starbucks coffee." NBC’s Matt Lauer’s clever headline: "Trouble brewing -- Starbucks announces its closing 600 stores in the next year. Is the demand for $4 lattes dying in a tough economy?"
But CBS’s "The Early Show" took the puns and the "doom and gloom" to a new level. Host Maggie Rodriguez teased the headline news: "Starbucks shutting its doors on hundreds of stores. Tough economic times or just a grande letdown?" Correspondent Ben Tracy, in his report on the closings, quipped, "The economic slowdown has been a real grind for Starbucks' profits. After filling up their gas tanks, some coffee lovers don't have enough left to fill up their cups."
On Monday's "Today" show, NBC's Amy Robach sat down with a French climber who was arrested for scaling the "New York Times," building to promote his belief that global warming kills more people every day than 9/11.
The "Today"' show graphic bragged it had an exclusive with the global warming alarmist, Alain Robert, and while Robach did note the criminal charges being brought against him, she never challenged Robert's assertion that climate change was deadlier than al Qaeda.
AMY ROBACH: What is it about scaling skyscrapers that makes you so passionate?
ALAIN ROBERT: This is something a bit different, but most of all, you know, now since nearly a year, I have decided to fight on global warming, and that's the reason why I have decided to climb the "New York Times" building.
ROBACH: Yeah this climb was different than others, because the other times, you did it perhaps just for the thrill of it. This time you did it with a message. Tell us about this organization and why it's so important to you.
ROBERT: In fact, you know, actually, global warming is killing more people every week than 9/11, so which is a big amount of people.
The following is the full interview as it occurred on the June 9, "Today" show:
How's this for a balanced Today panel to discuss the impact of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's extremism on Barack Obama: two liberals who agree it shouldn't hurt him, with one suggesting the situation might even help Obama?
The panel discussion was preceded by a segment narrated by Lee Cowan, the NBC correspondent covering the Obama campaign who has admitted "it's almost hard to remain objective" about Barack. Cowan buttressed his case in that regard. After playing the clip of Rev. Wright using the n-word to make an invidious comparison between Obama and Hillary, Cowan claimed the words were "old." True--if Cowan considers December, 2007, when Wright uttered them--ancient history.
Then it was on weekend co-anchor Amy Robach's interview of Michael Dyson and Melinda Hennenberger. Dyson, who as Robach noted is an Obama supporter, is a Georgetown professor and MSNBC political analyst. He has in the past garnered headlines for his fierce criticism of Bill Cosby, claiming among other things that Cosby "battered poor blacks" with his calls for self-reliance.
Ask an obvious question . . .
Amy Robach this morning asked the most rhetorical question in contemporary media: does the MSM have a thing for Barack Obama?
The weekend Today co-anchor didn't need guests Pat Buchanan or Rachel Maddow for the answer. She could have kept things in-house with NBC's own Lee Cowan, who has acknowledged “it's almost hard to remain objective” about Obama.
But pose the question Robach did, and Pat Buchanan gave her a colorful answer.
It's official: Time magazine hates Dick Cheney.
Last week, I noted here that two of Time's Top 10 Editorial Cartoons of 2007, including it's # 1 pick, took shots at the Vice-President. This morning, two Time editors turned up on the Today show to discuss more picks from Time's collection of 50 Top 10 lists. And speaking of taking shots . . . .
View video here.
Today weekend anchor Amy Robach's guest was Time's Arts & Entertainment Editor Belinda Luscombe [pictured below]. After discussing the Top Song of the year ["Rehab" by defiant druggy Amy Winehouse] and Top Gadget [iPhone], talk turned to the Top Magazine Cover.
Remember when you were a kid and all you had to do was cry "wolf" to get your parent or guardian to come to your aid? Well, apparently that doesn't work anymore.
Thanksgiving air travel went well; in fact it went so well it prompted CNN anchor Rob Marciano to exclaim, "Maybe the media sufficiently scared everybody."